Parks and Countryside newsletter

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Parks and Countryside [Spring/Summer]

Welcome to a bumper summer edition of our newsletter, where we look at:

  • Revamped playground opening
  • Love Parks Week
  • Summer of Fun days
  • Nature treasure hunts
  • Big Butterfly Count 2022
  • Outdoor activities
  • Green and Active Heroes
  • Wildfire prevention
  • Path improvements at Horseshoe Lake
  • Celebrating our rangers
  • Protecting our parks

Revamped playground opening

Local community gathers to open up revamped playground at South Hill Park


Thank you to everyone who helped to open the newly revamped toddler play area at South Hill Park last month.

We hope our younger residents enjoy many hours of accessible play, using the new facilities.

Find out more about the event on our website.

Children enjoying new playground equipment

Love Parks Week

Heart painted on a tree, with someone hugging the tree

This week the nation has been showing how much we love our local parks and open spaces, during Love Parks Week.

The national celebration of parks and green spaces, which is run by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, aims to promote wonderful green spaces and what they mean to society.

Statistics shared by the People and Nature Survey for England for this March, show that:

  • 61 per cent of adults in England said they had spent time outside in green and natural spaces in the previous 14 days.
  • Close to four in 10 adults said nature/wildlife (39 per cent) and visiting green and natural spaces (40 per cent) had been even more important to their wellbeing since coronavirus restrictions began.

There are many ways you can celebrate your local parks this summer.

Summer of Fun days

Summer bunting

Family fun days where all of the activities are free:

All events are from 11am to 3pm. No booking required, just turn-up. Site location information is available at the links above.

Nature treasure hunts

Young girl viewing a flower through a magnifying glass

Solve a series of clues in our family-friendly treasure hunts, to win a nature-related prize! Bookable time-slots available for morning or afternoon events.

Wednesday, 24 August at South Hill Park:

Thursday, 25 August at Lily Hill Park:

Booking required. Ticket sales close 24 hours before the event. Cost: £4 per child, which covers event expenses. Event details and full terms and conditions are available on the individual booking pages.

Big Butterfly Count 2022

Green Hairstreak butterfly

There's still time for you to take part in the Big Butterfly Count, which runs until 7 August.

This annual event is an opportunity for everyone to become a citizen scientist and help build up a picture of how beautiful butterflies are faring.

Instructions about how to take part in this UK-wide survey is available from Butterfly Conservation.

Image of green hairstreak butterfly taken at Englemere Pond, by Rob Solomon.

Outdoor activities

Our website contains information about outdoor activities you can try out, throughout the year:

Family out cycling in the countryside

Green and Active Heroes coming soon!

Tree planting

Green and Active Heroes is a green community volunteering scheme.

Its purpose is to increase green volunteering opportunities for residents, with the type of activities on offer including tree planting, hedge laying and pond creation.

Volunteering in our green spaces improves our physical and mental health, especially when it involves physical exercise.

Involve Community Services logo

Bracknell Forest Council is working in partnership with Involve Community Services to run the volunteering scheme, to benefit residents and the local environment.

This scheme launches as part of the Bracknell Forest Festival, which brings the popular tree giants back to The Lexicon. The festival will run from 24 August to 4 September. For more information on the scheme and the event, visit the Bracknell Forest Festival website.

Wildfire prevention

Wildfire at Swinley Forest

It has been very hot and dry these past few weeks, which means there's an increased risk of wildfires.

Wildfires can be very dangerous. They spread quickly, change direction and threaten people, wildlife and property.

The Swinley Forest fire in May 2011 was devastating, affecting 300 hectares of land, and requiring support from a dozen fire and rescue services to put out the blaze.

Prevention is the key!

The Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service provide a useful checklist for fire prevention, and what to do if there's a fire. See their poster, which is available as a PDF download.

Path improvements at Horseshoe Lake

Improved path at Horseshoe Lake

Our rangers have created a new path around the back of Horseshoe Lake Activity Centre, helping to improve access for visitors to this rural site.

The new path provides a quiet route through the grazed meadow, and improves access from the junction of Lower Church Road.

The path has a compacted gravel surface, which allows for year round access. Pedestrian friendly wide kissing gates (with access keys) and stock-proof bridle gates are located at each entrance.

Find out more about Horseshoe Lake on our website.

Celebrating our rangers

Three rangers in a wildflower meadow at Frost Folly

Last Sunday was World Ranger Day, where we thanked our rangers for all they do to protect and enhance our parks and countryside for people and wildlife.

Find out more about World Ranger Day from the International Ranger Federation (IRF).

The photo shows our rangers Charlie, Steph and Alan in the pretty wildflower meadow  at Frost Folly. This is just one of the many meadows our rangers, and Heritage Parks team, manage to promote local biodiversity.

Protecting our parks

Hedgehog trapped in litter

Please dispose of your rubbish in the bins provided, or take your litter home with you where bins are unavailable or full.

Information about litter, and how we manage it, can be found on our litter page.

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